MAKASSAR, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police’s Detachment 88 [Densus 88] counterterrorist unit has killed two militants and arrested 18 others during a raid on a suspected terrorist cell in Makassar, South Sulawesi on Wednesday, January 6.
“The Densus 88 killed the two, who were identified as R and his son-in-law AJ, after they resisted arrest and attacked during the raid at the Villa Mutiara Biru housing complex,” said South Sulawesi Regional Police chief Inspector General Merdisyam. “They also shot and wounded another militant.”
The Densus 88 unit, which was sent by the Indonesian National Police headquarters in Jakarta, was backed by South Sulawesi Regional Police’s Bomb Squad, as well as the Makassar police precinct.
Speaking at a press conference on the site of the raid, Merdisyam added that “the Densus 88 also arrested 17 others during the house to house operation. We suspect that they are members of a major Jamaah Ansharut Daulah [JAD] Islamiyah cell in South Sulawesi.”
He asserted that the men, along with hundreds of others, pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015 at the Ar-Ridho religious school run by a cleric named Basri. Basri also sponsored their housing in the Villa Mutiara Biru complex.
Makassar Police Precinct Police Chief Commissioner Witnu Urip Laksana reiterated Merdisyam.
“As part of JAD, the deceased and their accomplices were involved in a series of church bombings in the Philippine city of Jolo in January 2019 and August 2020. The former attack killed 22 people and wounded hundreds of others, while the latter blast claimed 15 lives and injured 75 people.”
Prior to their involvement in the Jolo attack, the JAD militants attempted to go to Syria in 2016. However, the police foiled their efforts to go and fight in the war-torn country.